An ideal piece of movie es­capism

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Film - with Ju­lian Wright

ANY­ONE who dreamed of see­ing the an­i­mated Dis­ney ver­sion of Cin­derella (1950) come to life - your dreams have come true, like the down­trod­den girl who made it to the ball.

Stick­ing closely to the plot, struc­ture and char­ac­ters of the an­i­mated clas­sic, Ken­neth Branagh’s ver­sion is not so much a reimag­in­ing, as it is a recre­ation.

This is not nec­es­sar­ily a bad thing.

Af­ter her mother passes away, Ella’s ( Lily James) fa­ther re­mar­ries, to an at­trac­tive but aloof woman (Cate Blanchett), who has two rude, ob­nox­ious daugh­ters Drisella (So­phie McShera) and Anas­ta­sia (Hol­l­i­day Grainger).

But when her fa­ther dies, Step­mother re­lo­cates the de­light­ful young woman into the at­tic, fires the staff and makes Ella do all the house­work.

A chance brief meet­ing with the Prince ( Richard Mad­den) leads the hand- some man to host a ball for all the vil­lagers to find her again, an event that Step­mother for­bids Ella from at­tend­ing.

En­ter Ella’s fairy God­mother (He­lena Bon­ham Carter).

Gor­geously re­alised by direc­tor Branagh, this sweet-na­tured fairy­tale fleshes out its char­ac­ters, ex­plores their mo­ti­va­tions and of­fers more de­tail to the back-story be­fore the Step­mother ap­pears.

In re­main­ing faith­ful to the tale, there are few sur­prises - there are no mod­ern twists shoe­horned into this ver­sion for new au­di­ences.

One sim­ply basks in the cute story, at­trac­tive cast and zippy di­rec­tion as a piece of es­capism.

Some­times that is all we dream for at the cinema.

Lily James makes a grand en­trance as Cin­derella.

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